• Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara have named their baby boy River. (WireImage)Source: WireImage
"River introduced me to every experience that helped to form the direction I took in my life. He was always encouraging me and sharing everything he had."
By
SBS staff writers

28 Sep 2020 - 2:51 PM  UPDATED 28 Sep 2020 - 2:58 PM

Social media users are collectively reaching for a tissue after it was announced that actors Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara have welcomed their first child into the world, a baby boy they've named River, after Phoenix's famous late brother.

The happy news was reportedly first shared by Russian director Viktor Kossakovsky at the Zurich Film Festival, where he was attending a screening of his new film Gunda, which was executive produced by Phoenix.

“He just got a baby by the way," Kossakovsky said of his collaborator.

"A beautiful son called River.”

The name is believed to be a heartfelt tribute to River Phoenix, who passed away in 1993 at the age of 23.

Phoenix and Mara met on the set of the Oscar-winning film Her and have been together since 2013, despite keeping their relationship private for the most part.

"She's the only girl I ever looked up on the internet," Phoenix admitted of Mara in an interview with Vanity Fair. "We were just friends, email friends. I'd never done that. Never looked up a girl online."

The pair became engaged in 2019.

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